Why have Christians been persecuted in the history of the Church? The reasons vary from age to age. But one thing is constant. C.E.B. Cranfield, the great biblical scholar, well describes this constant when he says of the existence of believers in a pagan world: “Their very existence is an affront to human self-centredeness, a remainder of the absolute claims which God makes upon men’s lives and which so many want to ignore and forget.” [I & II Peter and Jude, p.119].
And this “ignore and forget” can all too easily slide over into acts of violence.